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5 Emotions That Successful Entrepreneurs Never Feel

5 Emotions That Successful Entrepreneurs Never Feel
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When you become a successful entrepreneur, you represent a group of people who create value for the world by seeing solutions where others see nothing. Where back in the old days, people would try and turn lead into gold, modern day entrepreneurs turn 0’s and 1’s into an app that can solve a real problem.

Human emotions can empower. They can also disable. The key to success is sifting out the emotions that give you strength and throwing away the ones that get in the way of progress. Here are the five emotions that successful entrepreneurs become skilled at getting rid of to protect their ability to create value.

1. Jealousy

Entrepreneurs aren’t jealous. They see the success of their colleagues as validation of hard work. The smarter ones will look at what they are specifically doing different that makes them successful – market, product, advertising, etc – and seek to emulate it.

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People who are jealous, actually admit that they will never be as successful as the person they are jealous of. No one will tell you that, but it’s the truth about jealousy. It represents deep insecurity that disables you from performing better and seeking the life that you want.

If you can be genuinely happy for someone who is successful, you can be one step closer at success yourself.

2. Despair

In the dictionary, despair is defined as being “the complete loss or absence of hope”. Entrepreneurs are quintessentially about hope. Without hope, there isn’t possibility. Their ideas would never make it beyond the drawing board.

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This isn’t to say that entrepreneurs don’t lose hope sometimes. They are human, after all. However, entrepreneurs are unable to completely drain their “hope gauge”. No matter what knocks them down, they will always get back up. If not immediately, eventually.

3. Apathy

Apathy basically means not caring at all about something. It means that no matter what happens, whether good nor bad, you have no emotional investment attached to it. This can be a good thing for entrepreneurs. If they don’t care about the result, they can focus on doing meaningful work.

Having said this, entrepreneurs build things to solve problems. Apathy can be a destructive emotion because it can drain the energy and passion away from a venture. People who work with you in the venture may leave, seeing that their fearless leader is more of a “meh” leader.

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Entrepreneurs are caring people. They might not seem that way at face value, but without care, they would not go to great lengths to solve the world’s problems.

4. Disappointment

Disappointment is another very common emotion. People get disappointed all the time: in other people, in situations out of their control, in themselves. As an entrepreneur myself, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t feel disappointment. In fact, I feel it on a daily basis.

What sets entrepreneurs apart from other people is that entrepreneurs do something with their disappointment. They make it constructive. They turn it into an opportunity for growth. For example, I’ve started a “disappointment journal” where I list the things that disappoint me. What’s been fascinating is realizing these things often aren’t big deals and that I’m silly for wasting energy on it in the first place.

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It’s an emotion that has to be weaned out of the human system. Only then can you be as effective as a successful entrepreneur.

5. Worry

Entrepreneurs have at least double the number of things to worry about, compared to “regular” people. Some entrepreneurs let worries drive them into the ground. The emotionally and physically collapse one day and need to take a couple months off. The weight of worries crushes them.

Other entrepreneurs – ones who are more experienced and durable against the weight of worry – realize that worrying is placing a bet against themselves. There is literally no point worrying. It takes away precious energy that should be focused on value creation. Worrying doesn’t decrease the chance of bad things happening either. So why worry?

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If you can purge yourself of these five troublesome emotions, you can quickly be on your way to becoming a successful entrepreneur. It takes effort, but it’s worth it.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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